March 11, 2022 10 min read

We all have that important part of our makeup routine that has become a habit or ritual that we do daily. 

Mine is applying lip gloss. I do this literally every day, even when I don't feel like putting on any makeup. 

Your beauty routine could be different, maybe a mascara, powder, or well-shaped eyebrows. 

Whatever it is, you just know that without that step, your makeup isn't complete for the day and it's okay to have just one or two go-to products but it's even better to have a personal mini makeup bag filled with the makeup essential to help you create that subtle daytime look or that dramatic and sexy party look.


Whether you're a professional or beginner to this whole beauty talk, I think every woman should own at least one of these items which I'll be sharing with you shortly. Sit back and grab your notepads.



Basic Makeup Routine for Beginners 

If you're just starting your makeup journey, the first thing you should do is to take care of your skin, especially if you have acne or eczema. Makeup is primarily meant to enhance your features, although certain products like concealers usually applied by makeup artist and correctors can hide spots and blemishes. It cannot transform you from Godzilla to Cinderella.


It's not magic honey. But what about those crazy transformations trending on Instagram? 


Well let's say, a lot of special effects and filters and photoshop have joined forces to create the images you see. 


Don't get me wrong, you too can also have flawless makeup, you just need to take good care of your skin and follow easy tips to help you achieve that smooth natural finish. 


First, start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser, hydrating with a moisturiser, and following up with a primer. This helps create a nice base for your foundation to sit on.


Another important thing to follow as a beginner is to avoid doing your eye makeup after you apply foundation. Eyeshadow particles may fall out and can mess up your face makeup. 


You can also use adhesive tape placed diagonally across your eyes for easy application of eye shadow and winged liner. 


Lastly, always use a lip scrub to get rid of dead skin and lip balm to keep your lips soft and smooth for lipstick application.



The Top 24 Basic Makeup Essentials List You Need


Just like most ladies have a favorite step in our make-up routine, there are also some important and basic products that we recommend for every woman. We have created a detailed list of makeup essentials items and grouped them into four parts


  • Makeup Essentials for Face
  • Makeup Essentials for Eyes
  • Makeup Essentials for Lips
  • Makeup Applicators and accessories

Make-up Essentials for Face


  1. Moisturizer- the first thing you should do after you have cleansed your face is to apply a moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated and to prevent the foundation from settling into fine lines or wrinkles. There's a misconception that people with oily and acne-prone skin do not need to use a moisturiser but the key is to go for a moisturiser that has a lightweight and non-comedogenic formula like Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Absorbing Moisturiser with SPF 30. For normal to dry skin, I'd recommend the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel which attracts and locks in moisture and is easily absorbed into the skin.


  1. Facial mists: face mists are gradually becoming popular and can be used before and after makeup or even both. It helps to hydrate the skin, set the makeup, cool the skin to prevent excess sebum production that leads to acne breakouts, and also some brands have serum-like ingredients that nourish the skin throughout the day. A very hydrating facial mist that works well for all skin types is Mario Badescu Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rose Water and it's also very affordable.



  1. Primer: if you want your makeup to last throughout the day without worrying if it will melt off once you step into the sun, then you should invest in a good primer. Primers act as a smooth canvas for you to paint on. It not only helps to prolong your makeup wear but also helps to smooth out larger pores and fine lines making them less visible and also helps to control shine. For oily skin, I'd recommend matte primer like Becca and for normal to dry skin hydrating primer like Rimmel stay matte and Ponds would work just fine.


  1. A sheer base: if you're a fan of the 'no-makeup makeup look' or you simply don't have the time or patience to apply your makeup every morning. Then I suggest you go for a BB or CC cream. Both BB and CC creams come as lightweight formulas that combine both skincare and makeup ingredients. They offer a sheer base so they look natural, almost like your skin and you don't need a moisturiser, primer, or sunscreen anymore. BB  stands for 'blemish' or 'beauty' balm and is used to conceal minor blemishes. BB creams such as the e.l.f BB cream with SPF 25 are very hydrating, so if you have dry skin, this should be your pick. CC stands for 'complexion corrector' or 'colour control' and helps to correct discolouration, dark under eyes, hyperpigmentation, and acne scarring. It has a more matte texture so it's best for oily and acne-prone skin. The Almay Smart Shade CC cream with SPF 35 is a great option for all skin types.



  1. Foundation: a quality foundation is a must for your makeup kit. Foundations come in different forms like liquid tubes and bottles, cream and stick and offer different amounts of coverage from sheer to medium to full coverage. Choose which one works best for you and matches your undertone, to avoid looking ashy or red. My best pick would be the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid foundation because it has medium coverage and it's super affordable.


  1. Hero concealer and color corrector: if you have discoloration, redness, or dark spots on your face then, it will be wise to invest in a concealer or color corrector. The theory that color can be called by their opposites holds true when it comes to makeup. You can use a yellow corrector to hide purple discolorations, peach to hide bluish dark circles, purple to hide dull and yellowish skin, and green to hide redness. Concealers and correctors come in singles and palettes. But I'd recommend you get the Bobbi Brown BBU palette if you have multiple skin issues 

  1. A contour product/ Bronzer: contouring helps to define your face. You can do this with a stick foundation or concealer that's one or two shades darker than your skin tone and make sure to blend properly. Concealer is usually one of the important product in a woman's makeup bag. There's also another option of using a bronzer to contour, it could be in matte/powder form or shimmer. Apply with makeup brushes over your temples, underneath your cheekbones, and by the sides of your nose. If you want a variety, I suggest the Mac Studio Fix Sculpt and Shape Contour Palette.


  1. Barely there powder: loose powder is great for setting the face after foundation and concealer has been applied to help keep them in place and makes them last longer also without cracking up. Compact powders also come in handy to add finishing touches and reduce shine. But you have to use a light hand, as too much powder can make your face appear cakey during the day. Two of my favorites are The City Airspun Loose Face Powder and the Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder


  1. Rosy blusher: adding a little bit of blush goes a long way to brighten up your face. Blushes come in gel, cream, or powder form and should be applied by the apple of the cheeks and blended upwards into the hairline. You can also apply some on the tip of the nose and temples for a more natural flush. For beginners, I'd recommend starting with a powder blush, it's easy to work with and correct when you make mistakes. Choose creamy formula like the Rose peach and pink colours are best suited for people with light or pale skin while maroon, red, and burgundy work well with darker skin tones. If you're confused about which shade of blush to use, just go for a pink shade. It's universal and looks good on any skin tone.

  1. A highlighter/glow giver: a small amount of highlighter applied in the right spots can take your makeup from dull to dazzling. Areas you should focus on are the brow bones, Cupid bows, bridge of the nose, and cheekbones. Highlighters come as creams, liquids, or powders but if you're new to this, then I suggest you start with powders. The Killawatt highlighter by Fenty Beauty is an absolute best

  1. Setting spray: what's a cake with some icing? That's exactly what a setting spray does. It serves as the icing on the cake, the final touch to help lock in moisture and keep your makeup in place all day. Similar to a face mist, it can be hydrating. This is best for people with dry skin and if you have oily skin, then you should go for a mattifying setting spray. The Rimmel Insta Fix and Go Setting spray works perfectly fine for both dry and oily skin. To use, spray to inches away from your face in a T or X motion up to 6 times. 

Makeup Essentials for Eyes


  1. Eyeshadow primer: just like your face primer, eyeshadow primers help your eyeshadow to glide smoothly over your eyelids. It also makes your shadows colors pop and last longer without creasing. Just apply it on top of your eyelids and below your lower lash line if you plan on putting some colour there. I highly recommend the Milano Eyeshadow Primer, it's clear and dries super fast.

  1. An instant eyeshadow: when choosing eyeshadow, you have the option of buying single colours or in a pallet. I would suggest a palette containing at least 6 neutral colors like the City Mini Palette from Maybelline

  1. Eyeliner pencil/ Liquid eyeliner: eyeliner pencils are great and easy options for lining the eyes, especially the waterline while liquid liners are great for creating winged liners and are mostly smudge-proof, they don't clean easily unlike pencils. They both come in different colours but mostly in black. If you're going for a smokey eye look, then a black, blue, or brown pencil applied to the waterline will add the needed dramatic effect. If you want your eyes to look bigger, then a white or peach liner will do the trick. For everyday use, try the Victoria Beckham Kajal liner. It is smooth and has a matte finish.

  1. A trusty mascara:  not everyone has naturally long and voluminous lashes but it can be achieved with the help of mascara. Mascaras come mostly in black, but there is brown mascara for blondes or people with really pale skin. To use it just glide the blush brush over your lashes, spread the coating evenly. For better results, your a lash primer first, and go for waterproof mascara like the Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof mascara if you have plans of spending time by the waterside.


  1. Brow kit: Your brows are usually the first thing people look at when they see you wearing makeup. So it's important to groom your brows, it makes it easier to draw on or fill in. Your brow kit should include tweezers, brow gels (colourless or tinted), brow pencils, and brow powder all keep in a makeup bag. If you're into light and natural-looking brows like me, then you should try the Sephora Retractable brow pencil, it's easy to use and very convenient.


Makeup Essentials for Lips


  1. Lip balm: the skin on your lips is very fragile and tends to dry out more frequently, causing cracks and tears. To prevent this, use daily and especially before you apply lipstick. The best balm to buy is one that contains Shea butter or cocoa butter like the Palmer's Swivel Stick, which provides hydration and vitamins or antioxidants to give your lips long-term protection. 


  1. Lip gloss: glossy lips are trending right and we're here for it. If you're going for a subtle look just glide a tinted gloss over your lips and you're ready for the day. You can also apply a clear lip gloss over your lipstick.Glossier has a wide range of clear and coloured glosses for you to choose from.


  1. Lip Liner: you can use lip liner to define the shape of your lips before applying your lipstick to create a more precise finish. It also helps your lipstick to last longer. If you like to play with colours, then you would love the DC-Beautiful LipLiner Pencil Set which comes with 18 unique colours and is waterproof

  1. Lipsticks: every woman should have nude lipstick like peach, or beige for everyday use and a statement lipstick like red or burgundy for those occasions where you need to feel and look different. You can get your preferred shade from Mac Cosmetics, Maybelline and L'oreal are my favourite brands for lipstick products


Makeup Applicators and Accessories


  1. A beauty sponge: a makeup sponge is a beginner's best tool for properly blending out foundations and concealers. Even seasoned professionals still prefer sponges to a brush, to achieve a more smooth and even finish. Beauty sponges come in different shapes and sizes for more precise control. I recommend the EcoTools Biodegradable beauty blender. It's super soft and also serves as a wedge 

  1. Brush set: almost every product that we've mentioned so far, requires a brush for proper application. You should get a quality brush set that has at least one fluffy powder brush, three or four eyeshadow brushes, a blush, and a bronzer brush like the e.l.f. Cosmetics Precision Brush Collection


  1. Makeup remover and wipes: mistakes happen and we can't always avoid them but we can clean them off with makeup wipes. If you're having a bad liner say, or lipstick stains or excess products fall out from eyeshadows, wipes can help you clean them off and start afresh. And lastly, you will need a make-up remover at the end of the day to take off the many layers of foundation and powder. Wipes can be used to remove makeup but should be followed up with a gentle rinse with soap and water. The Cetaphil Gentle wipes and makeup remover are great for all skin types and also affordable 
Makeup Mirror: If you've ever struggled with applying your makeup in a poorly lit room and you ended up using the wrong shades of blush or powder, then it is time to swap your bathroom mirror for a makeup mirror. We saved the best for last because it is so important and yet so neglected. Make mirrors come in different shapes and sizes and they provide proper lighting and help you achieve more precision with their magnifying effect.Every woman should have at least one makeup mirror in her bedroom and one travel mirror for easy touch-ups when on the move. My personal favourites are the Illuminated Round Cosmetic Mirror which comes with a rechargeable feature, a 5× magnifying glass on the back, and options to switch between cool, warm, or natural light. And the Compact Travel Mirror which can be kept in your makeup bag comes with cool white light and a 1000mAh Li-polymer rechargeable battery plus, it's just the size of an iPad which makes it the best travel buddy.

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